We all have different reasons for exercising, from losing weight to training for a marathon or even to just gain more energy. And the more reasons you have to exercise, the more likely you are to stick with it!
So, here’s another reason you should be getting in that 30 minutes a day: Even if you watched your diet and avoided high-fat foods, you’re still at risk for heart disease if you don’t exercise. In fact, according to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, people who are sedentary are twice as likely to develop heart disease as people who exercise regularly.
If that doesn’t get you up off the couch, here are a few specific ways exercise improves your heart health:
1. Exercise lowers blood pressure. The stronger your heart, the less force put on your arteries, which will also lower your blood pressure.
2. Exercise increases “good” cholesterol and lowers “bad” cholesterol. According to the American Council on Exercise, exercise increases HDL cholesterol which prevents excess cholesterol from building up in your arteries. At the same time, exercise lowers LDL cholesterol in the blood – a combination that means cleaner arteries and a lower chance of heart attack or stroke.
3. Improves circulation. Your cardiovascular system pumps oxygen around your body, and poor circulation can lead to blood blots, heart attack and strokes. Regular aerobic exercise can improve circulation and heart health.
4. Reduces stress and helps you sleep better. Exercise releases endorphins, which can help your reduce stress and lower your risk for heart diseases. It also helps you sleep better too, and getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night is key to feeling your best and living a long, heart-healthy life.
Remember, your heart is a muscle – the must important muscle in your body! It needs to be exercised and strengthened, too! Talk to your doctor about starting an exercise program today.